The Palaszczuk Government will bolster Queensland’s capability to tackle corruption in local government, today announcing $7.4 million additional funding for the State’s Crime and Corruption Commission.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the four-year recurrent funding for the CCC would employ eight frontline police investigators and establish a covert human intelligence unit.
“My government is committed to restoring Queenslanders’ confidence in the local government sector,” the Premier said.
“Like Queensland ratepayers and residents, we also want to see an end to the cloud that hovers over local government so local councils can get on with their job of serving their local communities.
“We don’t just talk about integrity and accountability, we back it up with legislation and properly funded resources.
“That’s why we are giving the CCC the resources it needs to bolster its investigations into local government in this state. That starts today with an immediate injection of $1.8M.
The Premier said over the past three years, the Commission’s investigation of public sector corruption has increased 57 per cent and over the past 12 months, we’ve also seen a rise in the number of complaints in the public (6%) and local government sectors (41%).
“Unlike the former Newman Government which decimated the CCC’s capability, axing 30 of its staff; my government is committed to the Commission’s vital role in safeguarding the integrity and accountability of all public officials in Queensland,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
The Premier announced the government would also provide $14.125M in the 2018/19 Budget to establish a new statutory position of the Independent Assessor and establish the Office of the Independent Assessor*.
“This new statutory entity is one of a series of important Local Government reforms my government is pursuing to restore integrity, strengthen accountability and increase transparency in the sector,” the Premier said.
“The Office of the Independent Assessor, when established, will deal with councilor conduct complaints, improved governance practices and enhanced delivery of more sustainable local government.”
*The establishment of the new statutory office is part of local government legislation currently before the Queensland Parliament.
Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk